Louisiana State Parks wants you to take a hike… literally… to celebrate the new year with outdoor activities

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana State Parks invites you to begin 2020 on a healthy note by getting in your daily step count at your local state park in conjunction with America’s State Parks’ First Day Hikes project. The First Day Hikes project offers individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year connecting with the outdoors by taking a hike for health on Wednesday, January 1.

“Whether you’re starting off 2020 with a resolution to get into better shape or just want to enjoy the outdoors, walking through nature at one of our state parks is a great way to spend the first day of the new year,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Our mild winters provide opportunities to get out and experience these natural treasures in our state all year around.”

First Day Hikes encourage visitors to get outside, exercise, and enjoy nature with friends and family. There is no specific time for you to show up, just show up and enjoy the beauty of our state. Participants are encouraged to bring water and snacks, and to dress appropriately for the weather. Three Louisiana State Parks sites are offering specific events for the day:

Lake D’Arbonne State Park; Farmerville – Scout-Guided Trail Hike
Sam Houston Jones State Park; Lake Charles – Hiking on the Children’s Trail
Louisiana State Arboretum; Ville Platte – Guided Hike on the Walker Branch Trail

For more information on outdoor activities and programs, contact a park near you. Details about First Day Hike locations, difficulty, length, and terrain as well as tips regarding proper clothing are listed on the America’s State Parks website. Visit StateParks.org for more information on First Day Hikes. And don’t forget to share your adventures on social media with #FirstDayHikes.

First Day Hikes originated more than 25 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles and year-round recreation at state parks.

“It’s our way of wishing health and happiness for the coming new year.” said Lewis Ledford, executive director of the National Association of State Park Directors. “Recent research is confirming the benefits of just 30 minutes a week spent in nature, and what better way to start a new healthy habit for 2020 than taking advantage of hikes being offered in state parks across the nation. Our hope is that this event will stimulate a passion for the outdoors and a desire to explore our local treasures throughout the entire year.”

For more information about Louisiana State Parks visit LaStateParks.com, or follow Louisiana State Parks on Facebook and Twitter.

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